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Behind the Beautiful Forevers : Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity - Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Paperback Published: 22nd February 2012
ISBN: 9781921844638
Number Of Pages: 288

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From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo comes a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the world’s most lively but treacherous cities.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope: even the poorest of them believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call ‘the full enjoy’.

But then Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

With intelligence, humour, and deep insight, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the 21st century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

About the Author

KATHERINE BOO, a staff writer for The New Yorker, has spent the last 20 years reporting from within poor communities, considering how societies distribute opportunity and how individuals get out of poverty. Her reporting has been honoured by a MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ grant, a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, and the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Boo was also an editor of The Washington Monthly and, for nearly a decade, a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. This is her first book.


Behind the Beautiful Book


A beautifully crafted book with lots of social comments on Indian society packed within its pages.

Canberra Australia


Insight into life in the slums of India


I read this book while traveling around India, and it gives an amazing insight into the lives of people living in the slums surrounding the Mumbai airport. My first point of contact was in Mumbai, so flying in I saw the shacks crammed right up to the edge of the airport fence, with people drying their clothes on the razor wire. This visual really helped me to jump right into the lives of the characters. Bamboozling!

Melbourne, AU


Best Book Read this Year


Could not put this book down. Read it in one night. Eye-opening read of life in Indian Slum. I cried I laughed. Highly recommended!

nsw AU


Behind the Beautiful Forevers

4.7 3


"Without question the best book yet written on contemporary India. Also, the best work of narrative nonfiction I've read in twenty-five years." - Ramachandra Guha, author of India After Gandhi.

ISBN: 9781921844638
ISBN-10: 1921844639
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 22nd February 2012
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 13.8  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.28
Edition Number: 1

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